A good time to build

US utilities may need to spend more than $100 billion in the next 25 years on new power plants and transmission capacity. Richard McMahon looks at how utilities are assessing long-term risks and attracting potential investors

With US electricity demand expected to grow around 2% annually between now and 2025, reserve margins – which peaked at almost 28% in 2003 – will disappear completely by as early as 2007, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). This means a new generation of capital-intensive power plants – those that run continuously to meet a utility’s or a region’s minimum (or baseload) demand – will be needed. So too will more transmission capacity to deliver that power.

Given the

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